Articles about Security

Apple has two more vulnerabilities to fix in OS X 10.10 Yosemite

MacBook Pro 2015

Two zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple’s OS X, that have been discovered  by an Italian teenager, could potentially be used to gain remote access to a computer.

Luca Todesco, 18, found that there are two bugs in the OS that can be used to corrupt the memory in the OS X’s kernel. Once the memory is corrupt, the attacker can then circumvent the kernel address space layout randomization (kASLR), which is a defensive technique of the OS to protect itself from giving the attacker the root shell. But once the attacker circumvents through the kASLR, they can gain a root shell.

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FixMeStick: Eliminating malware with a USB drive [Review]

FixMeStick

We all know that virus infections are a pain, not only do they disrupt your work they can also be hard to remove as they often prevent you from downloading or running cleanup tools or even from accessing Windows.

If you don’t have access to a friendly geek with the right tools you can be faced with hours of work or even having to wipe out and reload your machine.

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New Snowden documents show AT&T helped the NSA spy on internet traffic

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The NSA has been helped by AT&T for decades in spying on huge quantities of internet traffic new-disclosed documents reveal. The astonishing relationship between the National Security Agency and the telecoms company goes far beyond any sort of arrangement or co-operation that came from other firms.

Evidence published by the New York Times shows that the NSA had arrangements in place with AT&T and Verizon, but the partnership with AT&T proved particularly lucrative. The communications giant added surveillance equipment to at least 17 of its web centers and was used as a testing ground for new spying technologies and techniques. All this is revealed in a new batch of documents provided by Edward Snowden.

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Firefox stealthily loads webpages when you hover over links -- here's how to stop it

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Pre-fetching or caching of web pages is a technique used by many web browsers to improve perceived performance -- it's nothing new. But Firefox takes a slightly sinister and stealthy approach. Simply hover your mouse over a link and the browser fires off requests to the associated website in the background.

While this sounds potentially helpful, it is also something of a privacy and security concern -- not to mention a waste of bandwidth. You might hover over a link simply to check out the destination in the status bar; if there is a link to a malicious or unsavory website, you probably don’t want these stealthy connections being made in the background. If you're worried about your security or privacy, or just want to be back in control of your web connection, there are steps you can take.

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Advanced Persistent Threats still go unnoticed by website owners

Blindfold threat

The term "Advanced Persistence Threat" fills news pages on a regular basis. According to ISACA APT Awareness Study, 93.6 percent of respondents consider APTs to be a "very serious threat" for their companies.

However, many "APT" attacks, do not really fall under the 'advanced' category in terms of the attackers’ sophistication. A very recent exploit, combined with phishing or newly registered domains are rather "low-cost APTs", for which we should probably introduce the new term "LCAPT" or just "LAPT" to distinguish these from genuine APTs.

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Samsung Pay launches in Korea in August, US in September

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The main thrust of Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event was to launch the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, but the company also provided some details about Samsung Pay. With so many similarly-specced smartphones vying for attention, each manufacturer needs to offer something slightly different, and Samsung is hoping that a new digital payment system will prove attractive to people.

Going head to head with Android Pay and Apple Pay is Samsung Pay. As well as offering compatibility with the newly announced Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, Samsung's payment system is supported by many of its older handsets. It will launch in its home country of Korea on August 20, and will spread to the US at the end of September. So why pick this payment system over the alternatives?

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Hackers make $100 million profit from stolen news releases

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Hackers, predominantly based in Ukraine and Russia, repeatedly infiltrated the networks of Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire over a period of five years in order to gain profitable information.

Nine of the alleged hackers have now been indicted in the US, charged with stealing more than 100,000 news releases, making more than $30 million. In total, it is believed that 32 hackers have made in excess of $100 million via illegal trading of corporate information.

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Windows 10 phones home to Microsoft even if you change privacy settings

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Many people regret upgrading to Windows 10, and many are put off from making the move to the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, because of concerns about privacy. The answer to privacy worries about Windows 10 features such as Cortana has been 'just don't use them', but it seems that this might not be enough.

Research carried out by Ars Technica shows that even with features disabled and privacy settings activated, Windows 10 continues to send information back to Microsoft. The data is sent by a series of tools including OneDrive, Cortana, and Bing -- even when a local account is used.

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The best value breach detection systems

Breach detection

Given the current threat landscape and the fact that attackers are finding new ways to bypass traditional security, it's no surprise that many companies are turning to the use of breach detection to protect their systems.

Independent testing organization NSS Labs has evaluated eight of the leading BDS vendors -- BlueCoat, CheckPoint, Cisco, Fidelis, FireEye, Fortinet, Lastline, and Trend Micro -- for security effectiveness, performance, and total cost of ownership.

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Lenovo BIOS tool prevents clean installs of Windows by downloading crapware

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Lenovo is no stranger to bloatware, but the latest crapware calamity is cut from a slightly different cloth. In a bid to ensure that its software is installed on its computers, Lenovo BIOSes feature a tool that automatically downloads and installs bloatware even after a clean installation of Windows.

The issue is not entirely new, having been brought to light on Ars Technica's forums, but there is renewed interest in the topic following the launch of Windows 10. Lenovo is making use of a little-known feature called the Window Platform Binary Table which can be used by manufacturers to stealthily install software via the BIOS. The 'feature' is seen by many as amounting to little more than a rootkit, and blame has been laid at the doors of both Lenovo and Microsoft.

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Script injection vulnerability leaves Salesforce users open to phishing attacks

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A script injection vulnerability in the popular Salesforce cloud CRM system could have left users open to attack from phishing emails that appear to come from within a trusted domain.

Cloud application security specialist Elastica has released details of the vulnerability -- disclosed to Salesforce in early July -- which opened the door for attackers to use a trusted Salesforce application as a platform to conduct phishing attacks to steal end-users' login credentials and hijack accounts.

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Malvertising becomes a billion dollar problem

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According to a new report by endpoint security specialist Invincea malvertising is causing more than $1 billion worth of damage each year.

Based on data gathered in the first six months of this year the company detected and blocked approximately 2,100 malvertising attacks against its customers, representing 2.1 million malicious advertisements. Invincea estimates this caused $525 million of damage in repair and recovery expense, excluding the impact of any data breaches.

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LastPass switches to freemium model to encourage take up

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With increasing numbers of credentials being stolen in data breaches it makes sense to use a password manager to protect your online accounts.

Popular password manager LastPass is encouraging users to make the leap by making its service available free on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets from today.

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84 percent of enterprises have considered encrypting all sensitive data

Data encryption

Security professionals are naturally concerned with protecting sensitive data within their organization and elsewhere, particularly given the increasing numbers of threats.

A new survey of more than 100 information security professionals by data security specialist Vormetric and risk management research organization IANS reveals that 84 percent of respondents had considered a security strategy of encrypting all their sensitive data.

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HTC and Samsung phones storing unencrypted fingerprints

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HTC is having trouble keeping investors happy, reporting its worst quarter in history earlier this month. If that wasn’t enough to contend with, FireEye researchers have found a way to steal fingerprint information from the HTC One Max and Samsung's Galaxy S5.

Fingerprints were stored in an image file named dbgraw.bmp in an open, readable folder. This means anyone that gains access to these files is capable of editing the fingerprints, deleting them and even forcing fake fingerprint scans to pay for items. Malicious apps can utilize the fingerprint files by asking for them in start-up.

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